Dr. Kuma-Aboagye receiving the donation from Yasumichi Araki.

THE INTERNATIONAL Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has donated equipment and ambulances to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The items, which include 14 tablets, 13 laptops, 12 blood pressure monitors, and three ambulances,are intended to enhance health services at the various border towns.

The equipment donated, formed part of the IOM’s project to strengthen overall border management capacities at the Paga Border in the Upper East, Elubo in the Western Region, and Aflao in the Volta Region.

Senior Programme Manager at IOM, Nnamdi Iwuora, said the pandemic had caused severe setbacks and had far-reaching consequences that were still felt in the economy, environment and social spheres.

He noted that in addition to the equipment, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and prefabricated isolation structures would soon be handed over to the government.

“All these will contribute to reinforcing points of entry capacity to better prepare for and respond to current and future potential health crises,” he stated.

Japan’s Ambassador to Ghana, Hisanobu Mochizuki, said the project was necessary due to the threat the COVID-19 pandemic posed on people’s lives and the global economy.

He said border restrictions during the pandemic affected not only the movement of people but also that of goods, disrupting supply chains all over the world, especially in Africa.

“Based on that experience, we learned how public health emergencies are closely tied with economic crises, highlighting the importance to enhance border capacity in terms of both public health and trade,” he stated.

Chief Representative of the JICA Country Office,Yasumichi Araki, also noted that the donation was made to land borders in Africa to fight not only the pandemic but other infectious diseases.

He said regional integration and trade facilitation on land borders contributed immensely to economic growth, adding that the movement of goods and people were the blood vessels of the economy.

Director-General of GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, thanked the IOM for the support, adding that port health was important and therefore, the donation would help the country immensely.

He also expressed gratitude to JICA for its continuous support to the service over the years noting that most of the diseases encountered in the country were all transmitted through the borders and thus gave the assurance that the items donated would be utilised effectively to achieve the outcome of the project.

BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri